Crowds of people are expected to fill the streets of San Francisco to watch the Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday. The parade is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and is set to begin at Market and Second Streets. According to SFMTA, the parade will then continue along Market to Geary, Powell, Post, Kearny to Columbus where it will disband between Pacific and Washington.
The parade, which is billed as “the biggest parade celebrating the lunar new year outside of Asia,” is expected to have record-breaking attendance this year, the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce said.
Assistant San Francisco Police Chief David Lazar told NBC Bay Area on Friday that the department is staffed up and prepared to work throughout the parade route.
“We will have more officers assigned to the parade than we have had in recent memory,” Lazar said.
“I just ask the public to come out, have a great time, celebrate the Lunar New Year — Year of the Rabbit and just know the San Francisco Police Department will be there,” Lazar continued.
He also noted that SFPD has been following the recent tragedies in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay.
In a statement on Friday, the San Francisco Police Department said that the public should expect to see “a significant presence of uniformed officers” over the weekend who will be ready “to respond to any issues of public safety during the festivities.”
The San Francisco Chinese New Year festivities kicked off on Friday with the Miss Chinatown U.S.A. pageant and coronation.
San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce President Donald Luu was at the pageant and noted this event drew its largest crowd yet this year.
Luu said he wants to assure community members that it will be safe for everyone to come out and enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities.
“This weekend we’re gonna have a lot of people around, so there will be a lot of eyes,” he said.
“We have been working with law enforcement, police, the Sheriff, also the D.A., also the [San Francisco] Department of Emergency Management, to make sure they coordinate the resources to increase security around Chinese new year,” Luu added.
Luu noted that this is an import time of year for Chinatown both culturally and financially. He said that for some Chinatown merchants, this season can make up about a third of their yearly revenue.
Source: NBC Bay Area
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